Most people don’t understand the motivation of why the burglar is stealing. As he explained:
99% of the burglars on the street aren’t like the ones you see in the movies where stealing is their chosen profession. They are motivated by more sinister reasons. They are part of organized crime, they are part of a gang or, as in my case at the time, they are drug addicts.
When you realize that you are most likely hiding your money away from people described above and not the professional burglars you see in the movies and on TV, it gives a different perspective of where you absolutely shouldn’t be hiding your money.
What he explained was that when people hide their money, they usually think of a place where they would never look themselves instead of where a burglar is unlikely to find the money. Take, for example, the back of the closet in a box where he said he often found valuables. For the person who is hiding the money or valuables, this is an inconvenient place and it takes effort to get to. Since all the boxes in front of it have meaning and therefore need to be carefully placed aside before reaching the box that contains valuables in the back, it seems like an inconvenient place to access. For the burglar, however, the boxes in front have no meaning and he will simply throw them aside without a second thought making it quite easy to access that hiding place.
As the conversation continued, the former burglar mentioned “bonus places” he sometimes found money. These were places that he always looked that an average homeowner might consider a good place to hide money, but it wasn’t money that he was after. If there happened to be money there, however, it was a nice, unexpected bonus.
All burglars have habits and there were certain places I always checked for a specific reason – I was a drug addict. I’m sure that other burglars have their particular search areas beyond the obvious drawers and closets, but I bet that most search these areas, too.
These are the areas he always searched and the reason why you don’t want to hide money there:
While this might seem like an unlikely place for a burglar to look, in the toilet bowl tank (as well as all the area round the toilet) is one place that he always took the time to look: “In and around the toilet is where a lot of people hide their drugs. The tank seems an especially popular place, but I will also search boxes of tampons, toilet paper rolls, potpourri… If it is in the vicinity of the toilet and looks like drugs could be hidden there, I would look.”
As with the toilet, “Cereal boxes are another place where a lot of people like to hide drugs. I’m sure that the people who didn’t have drugs in their house wondered why there was cereal spread all over their kitchen after I robbed them.”
Refrigerator & Freezer
The refrigerator may be another place that would seem unlikely for a burglar to investigate, but as he pointed out, “Many drugs last longer when refrigerated so big stashes end up in the refrigerator. Prescription drugs could also be found in the refrigerator.”
As with the refrigerator, “The medicine cabinet would usually be filled with prescription drugs that could be just as valuable on the street (or for self use) as illegal drugs.”
“I would toss everything surrounding the bed. I’d check pillows, between the mattresses, under the bed and inside anything close to the bed. This is often where people would hide their guns.”
What this Burglar didn’t tell you is that thieves spend an average of eight minutes in their victims’ homes, according to the Chicago Crime Commission. As mentioned in the previous article, the best place to keep money is at the bank, but if you do decide to stash some extra cash at home in case of an emergency, you now know that these possible hiding places are not where you want to hide your money. Another strategy would be to secure your valuables in a hidden strongbox or diversion safe. Here are a couple of ideas to you started.
1. Ps Concealment Clock – Rectangle
The term “hiding in plain sight” comes to mind with this safe. The benefits of this safe are that it looks just like regular clock that you might have on your mantelpiece. It also has that mid-western innocuous middle class feel to it, which means burglars are likely to miss it. This safe comes with a key locking mechanism. While the space inside is modest with only a 3′ depth the it is perfect for hiding cash, important papers or other small valuables.
2. Quick Vent Safe with RFID
The QuickVent Safe with RFID locking system is a good place to hide and secure weapons, money, jewelry, and other small valuables. The safe looks just like an HVAC vent so it blends in on any wall, effectively hiding your valuables in plain sight. This safe has an RFID opener, so there are no numbers to memorize. You just wave the RFID across the “vent” and like magic it opens right up. This safe is perfect for home defense weapons – but secured from thieves or children. It’s a bit pricier than several other home safes and it requires more installation hassle, but could be worth if it you keep large amounts of cash or important jewelry at home.
3. Hidden Door Stash Safe
Lastly if you don’t want to spend any money and you are pretty handy, consider making a hidden door stash safe. What you do is drill a hole in the top of one of your solid core wooden doors big enough for a cigar tube with a screw-on lid. Include a recessed lip to hold a top that’s a bit bigger than the tube — that way, the tube won’t fall inside the door (a washer fixed to the cigar tube top is the perfect lid). This stash spot is pretty small, but its big enough for cash and some kinds of jewelry.
Hope this was helpful information.
For part one of this series: the best place to hide money – conversations with a burglar, click here.
Like Saving Advice? Subscribe!
Subscribe to get the latest Saving Advice content via email.